AD Classics: Menil Collection / Renzo Piano

© D Jules Gianakos

Most important Architectural additions to a city are those of spectacle, meant to stand out and grab attention, such as Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, or Daniel Libeskind’s extension to the Denver Art Museum. But when made his American debut with the Menil Collection 25 years ago, the result was far from spectacle, but rather more supplementary to an already established neighborhood scale.

    

AD Classics: Rothko Chapel / Philip Johnson, Howard Barnstone, Eugene Aubry and Mark Rothko

© Photo by Chris Erdos - http://www.flickr.com/photos/chris-erdos/

In 1964 Mark Rothko was commissioned by John and Dominique de Menil (who are also founders of the nearby Menil Collection that is housed in the Renzo Piano-designed Menil Museum and Cy Twombly Gallery) to create a meditative space filled with his site-specific paintings. The original architect assigned to work alongside Rothko was Philip Johnson, with whom Rothko clashed over their distinct ideas for the building. Rothko would object to the monumentality of Johnson’s plan as distracting from the artwork it was to house. For this reason the Chapel would go through several revisions and architects working on the meditative space. Rothko continued first with Howard Barnstone and then Eugene Aubry, but ultimately did not live to see the chapel’s completion in 1971. It was after a long struggle with depression that Rothko committed suicide in his New York Studio on February 25th, 1970.

   

Architecture City Guide: Rome

This week, with the help of our readers, our is headed to . As the city that gave us the arch, the dome, and the vault, its influence on architecture is undeniable. We put together a list of 12 modern/contemporary buildings that we feel provides a good starting point. It is far from complete. There are dozens of other great buildings that are not our list, and we are looking to add to the list in the near future. Please add your favorites in the comment section below so we can add them on the second go around. Again thank you to all our readers who sent in their suggestions and photographs. The city guides would not be possible without your help.

To check out other cities visit our world map or our Architecture City Guide page.

The Architecture City Guide: Rome list and corresponding map after the break.

Help us with our Architecture City Guide: Rome

Courtesy of Flickr CC License / pmorgan67

Next week we will be taking our to Rome and we need your help. To make the City Guides more engaging we are asking for your input on which designs should comprise our weekly list of 12-24. In order for this to work we will need you, our readers, to suggest a few of your favorite modern/contemporary buildings for the upcoming city guide in the comment section below. Along with your suggestions we ask that you provide a link to an image you took of the building that we can use, the address of the building, and the architect. (The image must be from a site that has a Creative Common License cache like Flickr or Wikimedia. We cannot use images that are copyrighted unless they are yours and you give us permission.) From that we will select the top 12-24 most recommended buildings. Hopefully this method will help bring to our attention smaller well done projects that only locals truly know. With that in mind we do not showcase private single-family residences for obvious reasons. Additionally, we try to only show completed projects.

This week we are headed to Rome.

Example of the information we need for your suggestion:

Auditorium Parco Della Musica /
ww.flickr.com/photos/pmorgan67/2415383517/sizes/l/in/photostream/
Viale Pietro de Coubertin 15, 00196 Rome, Italy

Isabella Stewart Gardner Expansion / Renzo Piano Building Workshop

Gardner Museum director Anne Hawley and Jim Labeck, the director of operations, look over a model of the Gardner's new wing (center). The original building (right) sits in front of it. (John Tlumacki / Globe Staff)

Opening in 2012, the $118 million steel, glass, and copper-clad expansion to Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum by Renzo Piano Building Workshop will more than double the size of the current facility. Included in the project are a new entrance, music hall, gallery space, and other amenities for an institution that has remained largely unaltered since opening in 1903.

Architecture City Guide: Amsterdam

This week, with the help of our readers, our is headed to . With its numerous canals, Renaissance architecture, and bike friendly culture, it is hard not to fall in love with . Also, if you love modern or contemporary architecture one could hardly argue against making this city the first stop on a tour of Europe. Our list of 24 buildings hardly does justice to this amazing city, but it will certainly give those less familiar with the city a starting point. We will be adding to our list in the near future, as we didn’t come close to incorporating all our readers’ suggestions. In the meantime add more of your favorites to the comment section below.

The Architecture City Guide: Amsterdam list and corresponding map after the break.

Domus Technica: Immmergas Center for Advanced Training / Iotti + Pavarani Architetti

© Roland Halbe

The Foundation has selected the winner of the first edition prize reserved for Italian Architects under 40. The studio Iotti + Pavarani Architetti in Reggio Emilia was awarded the first prize for their project Domus Technica. The award, promoted by the Italian Association of Architecture and Criticism directed by Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi, received more than seventy entries screened by a single juror: Renzo Piano.  The Renzo Piano Foundation selected the project Domus Technica: the new Immmergas Center for Advanced Training by Iotti + Pavarani Architetti as the winner of the first edition of the prize, promoted by the Italian Association of Architecture and Criticism (AIAC) and chaired by Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi, which is awarded to up-and-coming architects under 40.

Architect: Iotti + Pavarani Architetti (Paolo Iotti, Marco Pavarani)
Location: , Reggio Emilia, Italy
Project Area: 900 sqm
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Roland Halbe

Help us with our Architecture City Guide: Amsterdam

Courtesy of Flickr CC License / Bart van Damme

Next week we will be taking our to Amsterdam and we need your help. To make the City Guides more engaging we are asking for your input on which designs should comprise our weekly list of 12-24. In order for this to work we will need you, our readers, to suggest a few of your favorite modern/contemporary buildings for the upcoming city guide in the comment section below. Along with your suggestions we ask that you provide a link to an image you took of the building that we can use, the address of the building, and the architect. (The image must be from a site that has a Creative Common License cache like Flickr or Wikimedia. We cannot use images that are copyrighted unless they are yours and you give us permission.) From that we will select the top 12-24 most recommended buildings. Hopefully this method will help bring to our attention smaller well done projects that only locals truly know. With that in mind we do not showcase private single-family residences for obvious reasons. Additionally, we try to only show completed projects.

This week we are headed to Amsterdam.

Example of the information we need for your suggestion:
NEMO Science Center /
ww.flickr.com/photos/bartvandamme/3794590169/sizes/l/in/photostream/
Address: Oosterdok 2, 1011 VX Amsterdam, Netherlands

Architecture City Guide: Paris

This week, with the help of our readers, our Architecture City Guide is headed to . For centuries has been the laboratory where innovative architects and artists have come to test their ideas. This has created a city that has bit of everything. Where the architecture of some cities seems to undergo phases of punctuated equilibrium, ’s architectural fossil record gives an impression of gradualism; all the missing links are there. This makes it easy to trace the origins of the most contemporary ideas throughout history. Nothing seems to come out of nowhere. If you look around you kind find the design’s inspiration running through the city’s Roman, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Rocco, Neo-Classical, Empire, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Modern, Post-Modern, and Contemporary Architecture. Seen in another context, many of ’s buildings might seem out of place, but the bones of this city support the newest iterations on the oldest and most profound questions. The 24 contemporary designs that comprise our list probably should not be viewed outside of this context, even though that is the stated goal of some of the designs.

As the most visited city in the world and arguably the capital of culture, it is impossible to capture the essence of Paris in 24 modern/contemporary designs. Our readers supplied us with great suggestions, and we really appreciate the help and use of their photographs. The list is far from complete and we realize that many iconic buildings are not yet on the list. We will be adding to it in the near feature, so please add more in the comments section below.

The Architecture City Guide: Paris list and corresponding map after the break.

Architecture City Guide: London

This week, with the help of our readers, our is headed to . This is our second stop in Europe, and once again I had to capitulate and double the number of buildings that we normally feature. We could not feature all of the suggestions, and will be adding to the list in the near future. We really appreciate those readers who offered their suggestions and the use of their pictures to make up this list.

Samuel Johnson famously said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” As home to a long tradition of kings and queens, the Royal Society, and the roots of the Industrial Revolution, it is not surprising that there is a rich tension and collaboration between the historic and contemporary architecture in London. This reflects a city and culture that has a strong history of celebrating the past while also moving forward. Conflicts often emerge, as the goals of one side clash with those of the other. This relationship, however, is why I find walking the streets of London so appealing - those beautiful moments when history and progress collide.

Once again, thanks to all our readers for your help. We encourage you to add more of your favorites in the comment section below.

The Architecture City Guide: London list and corresponding map after the break.

Whitney Museum Groundbreaking Celebration

© Building Workshop in collaboration with Cooper, Robertson & Partners

On May 24th the of American Art will break ground on a 200,000 sqf facility, designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Renzo Piano. Located in the Meatpacking District adjacent to the southern entrance to the High Line, the building will provide the Whitney with essential new space for its collection, exhibitions, and education and performing arts programs in one of New York’s most vibrant neighborhoods.

To celebrate this historic moment for the Museum, from May 19 to 27 they will host a series of events, programs, performances, and public art initiatives.  A special Community Day on Saturday May 21st will feature a variety of activities free and open to the public.

The invitation only ground breaking event begins at 11 am (doors open at 10:30 am) and will include appearances by Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s Alice Pratt Brown Director, architect Renzo Piano, as well as the Whitney’s Board of Trustees and city officials, friends, artists, and other supporters.

Special performances by Elizabeth Streb and the STREB Extreme Action Company and So Percussion. The Whitney Museum of American Art’s new building is anticipated to open in 2015. More information can be found here.

Update: The Shard / Renzo Piano

© Andy Spain Photography

The 70-story mixed use tower even while under construction is the tallest building in London’s skyline. Adjacent to London Bridge Station, the building offers increased density to a major public transport node, a key to and suggestive of future London development. London based architectural photographer Andy Spain shared with us photographs he took a few weeks ago of The Shard under construction.  Be sure to take a look at our previous coverage of The Shard.

More images after the break, including drawings and renderings from Renzo Piano Building Workshop.

Architects: Renzo Piano Building Workshop in collaboration with Adamson Associates
Location: London, England
Client: Sellar Property Group

Design for London Receives Backing from Hadid, Gehry, Piano

Courtesy of Design for

With concerns rising about the future of Design for London, a lengthy list of high profile architects have assembled themselves submitting an open letter to the Mayor of London. “As architects from many countries, we want to encourage the Mayor to secure the survival of this remarkable team. We hope that he is aware of how widely admired the efforts are of this small group of talented designers. London should consider itself lucky to have a skilled, knowledgeable and creative organisation supporting efforts to make it a better city.”

A projected growth by around one million people over the next twenty years, confirms that Design for London‘s survival is crucial as it is an influential player in steering designs and new developments towards an environmentally responsible city. The protection of London’s existing green spaces, character, heritage, and established unique neighborhoods will be essential as the city builds to accommodate its expected growth, and Design for London‘s collaborative efforts, on behalf of the Mayor of London, verify that projects are focused on these factors.

Full public letter to the Mayor of London following the break.

Architecture City Guide: Chicago

We are headed to the windy city of for this weeks Architecture City Guide series.  Jam packed with architecture from Frank Lloyd Wright and , here are our 12 recommendations if you are visiting .  Head to the comment section and share your recommendations for additional buildings to include on our list!

The Architecture City Guide: Chicago list and corresponding map after the break!

Central St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects

© RPBW ph. Maurits van der Staay

The proposed concept for the site was to transform a single-use office building into a genuinely mixed use development incorporating office, retail, restaurant and residential use; seeking to create a new destination integrated within the local area.

The architects chose to situate the buildings around a new courtyard in the center of the site, which is connected by a publicly accessible route and ground floor public uses to the surrounding streets and spaces.

The key elements of the scheme were to introduce activity into the area, provide a mix of uses particularly retail, restaurants and housing introducing daytime and night time surveillance, and creating a properly managed and controlled environment which is reflected in the urban design approach to the layout of retail units, spaces and pedestrian routes.

Architects: Renzo Piano Building Workshop in collaboration with Fletcher Priest Architects
Location: London,
Design team: J.Moolhuijzen, M.van der Staay (partner and associate in charge), N.Mecattaf (associate) with L.Battaglia, S.Becchi, A.Belvedere, G.Carravieri, E.Chen, D.Colas, P.Colonna, W.Matthews, G.Mezzanotte, S.Mikou, Ph.Molter, Y.Pagès, M.Pare, L.Piazza, M.Reale, J.Rousseau, S.Singer Bayrle, R.Stampton and M.Aloisini, R.Biavati, M.Pierce, L.Voiland; O.Auber, C.Colson, Y.Kyrkos (models)
Structure: Ove Arup & Partners
Cost Consultant: Davis Langdon
Pre-Construction Advice: Bovis Lend Lease
Facades: Emmer Pfenninger & Partners
Lighting: P.Castiglioni / G.Bianchi
Fit-out for Affordable Residential: PRP
Landscaping: Charles Funke Associates
Client: Legal & General with Mitsubishi Estate Corporation Stanhope PLC
Project Year: 2002-2010
Drawings and Photographs: Courtesy of RPBW, Courtesy of L&G and MEC, Michel Denance, Hufton & Crow, Joost Moolhuijzen, Maurits van der Staay

Architecture City Guide: Houston

is our focus this week for our series.  We know Houston is packed with lots of great architecture so we are expecting to hear about your can’t miss buildings in the comment section below.  Remember this list is intended to be added to by you, our readers.  We will be updating our Architecture City Guides in the future to reflect your suggested buildings to visit.

Follow the break for our Houston list and corresponding map!

Architecture City Guide: Atlanta

This week the series heads south to warm up a bit, featuring . We’re looking forward to hearing from you, what are your can’t miss buildings? Add them to the comment section below.

Follow the break for our Atlanta list and a corresponding map!

Architecture City Guide: San Francisco

This week we are featuring for our series.  Thank you to all of our readers for adding their can’t miss buildings last week.  We hope to see your comments below this week too.

Follow the break for our San Francisco list and a corresponding map!